How Inclusion Can Help In Employee Well-Being? #CauseAChatter

Mental health and diversity and inclusion are closely related. You cannot ignore the effect of racism and racial trauma on mental health at the same time the disparity in access to mental health care across various communities cannot be ignored. The inequality and lack of cultural competency in mental health treatment cannot be ignored. Employees from diverse backgrounds can face lack of representation, unconscious bias, and other stressors that impact their mental health and psychological safety at work. Nothing can be ignored as they all are deep rooted, but we do see a ray of hope.

Today the modern workplace is consists of people of different religion, ages, gender and ethnicity. And one of the reasons for this outcome is economic globalization. Many organizations have realized that diversity at workplace can bring lot of material as well as intangible benefits. However, diversity has their own challenges like discrimination, harassment. disrespect, indifferent attitude and many more which can lead to a nasty consequence. Hiring a diverse workforce is great but this is not enough if people don’t feel wanted and accepted. Diversity is one part of the equation, to balance this equation companies need to work on inclusion.

Therefore, many companies have adopted diversity and inclusion programs. Inclusion in the workplace is extremely important for any organization looking to build a strong sense of connections and belonging and an engaging culture. Inclusive workplace is where all the employees irrespective of their differences and disabilities feel welcomed and valued for their contribution.

Here we need to understand without inclusion, diversity effort will not succeed. Some of the important traits of inclusions are

Every employee should feel that they have a voice and will be heard.

Every employee should feel the sense of ownership. The feeling that you’re a part of an organization that knows and values you. 

Every employee should be given an environment for learning and development which makes them feel that companies care about their growth and aspirations.

Every employee should have access to resources which will aid them in their work.

Every employee should be provided with collaborative environment regardless of their role and department.

Ways to create inclusive culture

Firstly it is important to educate employees and leaders.

Secondly creating an environment for open communication where listening should be given priority.

Third and the most important is embracing employees to their full authentic self. As we all know we are at our best when we are our own authentic selves. Give employee freedom to explore their true potential.

Benefits of inclusive workplace

  • People are more committed towards their work.
  • People are more engaged with their work as they enjoy working.
  • People will have better wellbeing in their lives.
  • Reduction in attrition rate and people will stay with the company for a longer duration.
  • People will be more likely to recommend their company as a best working place.
  • Increase in productivity and sales.
  • Improved participation and decision making.
  • Reduce conflicts and miscommunication.
  • Brings out favorable work cultural and happy and satisfy employees.
  • Leads to increase in self- esteem and self- confidence.
  • Better ideas that leads to inflation of profits.

According to Deloitte’s article on diversity and inclusion, it states, “A growing body of research indicates that diverse and inclusive teams outperform their peers. Companies with inclusive talent practices in hiring, promotion, development, leadership, and team management generate up to 30 percent higher revenue per employee and greater profitability than their competitors. Without a strong culture of inclusion and flexibility, the team-centric model comprising diverse individuals may not perform well.”

Therefore, diversity with inclusiveness leads to positive growth not just for the employee but for the organization. It is time that each and every company should adopt this for the overall growth of our country and for better mental health of our employee.

This post is part of the Blogchatter’s #CauseAChatter campaign.

Pic Courtesy : Pexels/Google/Canva

Reasons For Fresher’s Distress and Coping Mechanism #CauseAChatter

Today, whether you are working for a well known company or a start up or for yourself, going digital is the only way forward. Generation Y and Z consuming digital content every second of their lives ,leading India to the world’s largest internet using population. And this will witness its zenith in the coming years. Though most of us are still trying hard to adapt to this changing environment, the youth is accepting it whole heartedly. But this fast changing technology is quite overwhelming for these freshers, which leads to stress and taking our attention to the fast increasing mental health issues.

Stress is the biggest trigger factor which impacts mental and physical wellbeing. The lesser or the more managed the stress levels, the better the overall wellbeing. “It is a well-known fact that physical and mental wellbeing are correlated, and one cannot be managed at the expense of the other. 

There could be numerous reasons which can induces stress but to name a few

  • Uneasy work place : shows team politics, late working hours, not fitting in with the team’s vision, not being recognized for work, expected verses actual task etc.
  • Family Issues : shows money crunch, parents pressure for getting married, emotional instability etc.
  • Exposure to technology : leads to continuous learning, industry pressure, competition etc.

There are certain set of skills which are prerequisite to be able to sustain in the competitive market. Unfortunately I feel sorry to say that freshers lack even the basic problem solving skills.

Here are the top four , most important problems fresher’s faces that leads to increase in stress

  1. Lack of Readiness : Students when step into the corporate world expected to have certain skill sets. There is a wide range of dissatisfaction among recruiters as students lack initiative skill, being efficient and flexible, accepting protocols and procedures, basic corporate etiquettes etc. Every organization today is looking for candidates who are ready for the job or someone who is trainable. Being proactive and with right attitude can actually assist them to be more acceptable in this giant would of opportunities. Freshers need to comprehend the realities of a workplace, along with being aware of the realistic expectations around them.
  2. Lack of Application Knowledge : Today’s generation is really lucky as they have instant access to abundant information and they are very much conscious of the power it holds in this new age. Somehow all the information they possess is theoretical and is not getting channeled practically. But whom should we blame for this? Students are not to be blamed completely, the problem lies in our education system that does not have access to detailed courses and uses outdated curriculum. Due to this it becomes even more important for the companies to provide internships to freshers before hiring them. This will not only give them better clarity about job expectations but also clear their concepts about different subjects.
  3. Lack of communication Skills : As you are not working in isolation, dealing with people becomes must. And if freshers lack in expressing themselves it can hinder their growth. While some suffer from the fear of speaking in public, others lack the right way of doing so. Inadvertently, their job suffers. These skills can be worked upon, just that there has to be self motivation and desire to achieve more.
  4. High Attrition Rate : This is to do with the attitude. Students get into “get” attitude where everything has been served on the silver platter. Parents supported them financially and emotionally, college supported them with good education and industry supported them with infrastructure. But once they step into the real world they realize things are not the way they perceived and that leads to stress which they find difficult to handle and quit. Owing to a growth in the technology, freshers today have access to endless opportunities. They are more interested in higher salaries and fast-track promotion as they know there is no respite from the pressure of timelines and deliveries, wherever they go. They know they can jump around companies and get what they want. But how long they can continue like this. Here also companies come to their rescue by providing access to mentors who can administer job guidance and help them understand their role and responsibility by honing their skills, the problem can be solved to a great extent.

If freshers really want to survive in this competitive market without being stressed out they need to

  • Take ownership of their personal and professional growth
  • Bring positive change in their attitude
  • Be proactive in understanding the changing needs of the market
  • Work on upscaling skills that can aid in their success path
  • Accept the change and come out of their comfort zone
  • Ready to learn-unlearn and relearn

Remember stress itself is not negative the way we respond to it makes it negative of positive. Make sure you take it as an EU Stress which will help you to be more confident, adequate, and stimulated by the challenges you experience from the stressor.

This post is part of Blogchatter’s #CauseAChatter

Impact of Body Image on Mental Health #CauseAChatter

Body dissatisfaction is the experience of negative thoughts and feelings about one’s body and appearance , is a powerful and consistent precursor of a whole range of unhealthy body-related behaviors. These includes : unhealthy dieting regimes and problematic eating behaviors (starving, bingeing and purging), clinical eating disorder (anorexia, bulimia), cosmetic surgery, extreme exercising and unhealthy muscle-enhancing behaviors in men and boys (such as taking steroids or other supplements ). It is also linked to depression, anxiety, sexual dissatisfaction and low self-esteem. Therefore body dissatisfaction is a significant risk for physical health, mental health, and thus well-being. Any factor, such as idealized media image, that increases body dissatisfaction is therefore an important influence on well-being.

  • I am fat
  • I am too skinny
  • I would be happy if I was taller
  • I would be happy if I was shorter
  • I would be happy if I had curly hair
  • I would be happy if I had straight hair
  • I would be happy if I was fairer
  • I would be happy if I was………A never ending list of complaints about how I look.

Do any of these statements sound familiar? Are you used to putting yourself down? If so you are not alone. However these are not thoughts which crept overnight. It has been there sub consciously and this all started slowly when you were a kid probably at a age of 2 years plus, when others have commented about you. Lots of people have trouble adjusting and this can affect their self esteem. If I say body image and self esteem are inter related, I am sure many of you will agree with me. Self-esteem is all about how much people value themselves, the pride they feel in themselves, and how worthwhile they feel. Self-esteem is important because feeling good about yourself can affect how you act. For example a person who has high self esteem will make friends easily, is more in control of his or her behavior, and will enjoy life more. As far as Body-image is concerned it is how someone feels about his or her own physical appearance. Therefore, for most people, body image can be closely linked to self-esteem. That’s because as kids develop into teens and further adults, they care more about how others see them.

There are people who look into the mirror constantly. Forget about them, if I just ask why we look in the mirror? We are all more obsessed with our appearance than we like to admit. But this is not an indication of vanity. Concern about appearance is quite normal and understandable. But drawing a line is important before it becomes an obsession.

The bias for beauty operates in almost all social situations. Most of the experiments show we react more favorably to physically attractive people. We also believe in the “what is beautiful is good” stereotype- an irrational but deep-seated belief that physically attractive people possess other desirable characteristics such as intelligence. competence, social skills, confidence, even moral virtue. (The good fairy/princess is always beautiful; the wicked stepmother is always ugly)

It is not surprising that physical attractiveness is of overwhelming importance to us. Concern with appearance is not just an aberration of modern western culture. Every period of history has had its own standards of what is and is not beautiful, and every contemporary society has its own distinctive concept of the ideal physical attributes. Advances in technology and in particular the rise of the social media have caused normal concern about how we look to become an obsessions. Thanks to media, we have becomes accustomed to extremely rigid and uniform standards of beauty.

According to my observation ,people see and react to their reflection in a mirror varies according to their age, mood, gender, eating disorder, what they been watching on TV, what magazines they read, their marital status and also what kind of childhood they had.

All research to date on body image shows that women are more critical of their appearance than men. Up to 8 out of 10 women will be dissatisfied with their reflection, and more than half may see a distorted image. On the other hand men looking in the mirror are more likely to be either pleased with what they see or indifferent. Research shows that men generally have much more positive image than women, if anything, they may tend to over-estimate their attractiveness. Some men looking in the mirror may literally not see the flaws in their appearance.

But why are women so much more critical than man?

  • Because women are judged on their appearance more than men, and standards of female beauty are considerably higher and more inflexible. Constant exposure to idealized images of female beauty on TV and magazines makes exceptional good looks seems normal and anything short of perfection seem abnormal and ugly.
  • Also, most women are trying to achieve the impossible: standards of female beauty have in fact become progressively more unrealistic during 21st century.

Female dissatisfaction with appearance begins at a very early age. and puberty only makes things worse. Boys were found to be significantly less critical, but they too do go through a short phase of relative dissatisfaction in early adolescence, but the physical changes associated with puberty soon bring them closer to the masculine ideal. There is also a possibility that if a child is teased about flaws in their appearance, their body image may have become permanently disturbed.

Most of us are aware of our society’s emphasis on the importance of appearance, and we know what the socially sanctioned standards of beauty are. But not all of us accept or internalize these standards. Strong minded individuals who reject current standards are more likely to have a positive body image. If you have a positive body image, you probably like and accept yourself the way you are. This healthy attitude allows you to explore other aspects of growing up, such as developing good friendships, growing more independent from your parents and challenging yourself physically and mentally. Developing these parts of yourself can help boost your self esteem.

7 Steps To Enhance Body-Image

Body images are not fixed. Our body experiences changes as we grow older, and each stage in our life is associated with body image maker. Building a positive body image is a lifelong process. Changing body image means more than changing our body, it means changing how we think, feel and react to our body. There are many a way to remodel the outside, however, it also requires extensive inside changes in body-image. Some steps to enhance body-image are:

  • Explore your personal body-image with its strengths and limitations
  • Confront thinking distortions related to your body
  • Challenge misleading assumptions about body appearance
  • Accept and love who you are
  • Be comfortable with your body
  • Have positive experience with your body
  • Be a friend to your body with positive affirmations

This Post is part of Blogchatter’s # CauseAChatter

Pic courtesy / Edit : pexel / canva

Difference Between Resume Making and Resume Building

In order to understand the difference between a resume making and resume building first we need to know what Resume is:

Resume is a marketing documents which is used to make a favorable impression on the recruiter. This is the first point of contact so make sure that it is impressive and to the point. A Resume is a detailed summary of your credentials which greatly assist you in various arenas of your professional life. The sole purpose of your resume is to sell your credentials for the purpose of employment. Your Resume is to get you an interview, not a job! . An Interview call means your resume has made a favorable impression and your qualifications and experience have been found to be appropriate for the assignment. The thought of having to write a resume can be daunting for the most seasoned of players and even more in the current job market, so for fresher who wouldn’t know what to include, what to leave out and what format to followed can be a big dilemma. There are times when Resume is sent through e-mail, that’s when the need to know basics of E-mail Etiquette’s comes into picture. You can know more about resume making here.

Resume making is mainly putting your achievements on a sheet of paper. It has more to do with the structuring of your details. It can be done on a short period of time. While resume building is a continuous and a complex process which should begin very early and spread over a period of 3 to 4 years.. It is the act of visualizing the content of your resume.

So when should the task of resume building begin?

Ideally, when a student enters his/her graduation course and set her/her professional goal. The student should visualize what their resume should contain and start working towards achieving them, Let us now understand what should the resume contain and more importantly why? To answer this question, we need to think from the point of view of the interviewer. It is very common for any student to be tensed before a job interview. It is because, there is a lot of uncertainty regarding the type of questions that he/she might have to face in the interview. It is possible for a student to exercise control over the type of question they might have to face, at least to a certain extent. Yes that true but this can only happen when they start focusing on resume building.

Now this can happen if your resume has all these content:

  • Internships : Where a student will have a short term work experience in any company to get some entry level exposure to a particular industry or field. It is as much as learning experience as it is work. Here students spend their time on specific project of their interest, learning about the field, networking and developing hard and soft skills.
  • Workshops : This is where a teaching staff presents theme or concepts or the development of a skill related to the course of the study. Workshops gives more hands on learning however also allow more discussion, debate, interaction and presentation on a given topic.
  • Seminars: It is an important part of an academic program where a group of advanced students studying under a professor with each doing original research and all exchanging results through reports and discussions.
  • Project : This is nothing but a learning by doing. Students needs to do many mini projects and major project in their final here. This will give them exposure and deeper understanding of the concepts . A project is a chance to immerse yourself in a more ‘active learning’ experience. It will include activities such as planning, researching, creating, thinking critically, building, testing, and reporting.
  • Self Study: Using self-study, students are able to go beyond simply learning what their class textbooks and instructors teach them. By practicing self-study, they are encouraged to further explore topics they are interested in, developing stronger study skills as a result.
  • Paper presentation: Paper presentation is a technical event which is an individual competition where each participant is required to make a paper about a given topic or area, and then present it in front of the juries. It involves extensive research and originality.
  • Proactive technical orientation: The Technological  Orientation scale measures the tendency or habit of seeking to increase one’s repertoire of skills and uses of technology-based resources and programs; toward valuing the Internet and other technological means of accessing credible sources of information or researching a problem; toward being interested in staying current and learning about new technologies.

You are literally telling the Interviewer the areas to ask you questions from. Isn’t this better than having theoretical knowledge and being scared of the interview? When the questions are from your area of interest , your experience and efforts, should you be worry about technical excellence, inferiority complex. going blank or low confidence? Resume building helps you to build confidence and that lead to success. As the saying goes ” Failing to plan is equal to planning to fail”.

If a student understand the basic difference between resume making and resume building , he not only become successful and confident but will be prepared to face any tough situations with ease.

@SwatiMathur

What IS OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)? And Ways To Deal With It

People suffering from OCD are not many, In fact only about 3% of adults have it and it is even less common in children. People generally mistake habits with OCD. However, there is a grey area between habits that we may have and OCD. For example, we may drive to work a certain way for the benefit of passing a favorite site , here we do not feel compelled to do so from a belief, but if we were to feel compelled to drive a certain route because not doing so would result in a car crash, such behavior could then be said to be OCD.

To come to any conclusion it is imperative to understand : What is an obsession?

As obsession is a thought which is recurrent and persistent or something which is inappropriate and unwanted. Now when the obsession continuous without showing any apparent cause, makes you distressed and make your life difficult, that is when intervention is needed. With obsession it is an image or thought that stuck with you and will only go away when you follow some other specific action and compulsion. In OCD, often the person will be aware that the original trigger for the action or compulsion, is simply a creation of their own mind, in spite of that they cannot get rid of these thoughts and images.

Now lets understand: What is a Compulsion?

It is nothing but a reaction to the obsession and must be adhered to rigidly, failure to do so will result in a major disaster. If someone suffering from OCD force herself/himself not to follow the compulsion may result in a huge increase in stress which can be released only by performing the compulsion. They have a feeling , by performing the compulsion repeatedly , they can actually get rid of their obsession. The sufferer knows it very well that performing these compulsion is illogical but as it worked at reducing the fear and tension in the past, they are compelled to repeat.

Are there any specific types of OCD?

Well, there are infinite types of OCD, it can impact on any thought, on any subject, on any person, on any fear, and frequently fixates on what’s important in a person’s life. Some of the known OCD’s are

  • Contamination: a fear of things that might be dirty or a compulsion to clean
  • Rumination : causes a person to spend an inordinate amount of time worrying, figuring out, trying to understand, analyzing or clarifying thoughts
  • Intrusive thoughts: are usually disturbing and the person often tries to resist them
  • Mental Contamination: Having a feeling of unwanted, being treated unfairly or feeling like you’ve been treated like a dirt.
  • Checking : Confirming if things are done in right way for example, checking up of locks, alarm systems, ovens, or light switches etc.
  • Symmetry or arranging : Wants things to be lined up in certain way.

Why people don’t open up and share their problems especially if it is related to mental health?

  • Fear of being judged : One of the most common cause is fear and being misjudged. The reason could be that people recognize the negative sigma and discrimination associated with it and don’t want to be labeled as “crazy” or, “mentally ill”.
  • Lack of awareness : A person my acknowledge that something is not normal but may not understand the real cause or consequences of it.
  • Fear of hurting people they love : Their is a sense of hopelessness. They feel they might hurt their near and dear once as this is considered as a taboo in the society and people might isolate them and their family.
  • Lack of understanding from others – It is very difficult to deal with someone with OCD as they don’t want to be treated differently. They don’t trust people as they feel no one will understand them.
  • Distrust : Not everyone is comfortable sharing and when something is related to as delicate as mental health people become more conscious. They worry that their personal information won’t be kept confidential.
  • Feeling of inadequacy ; Many people believe that they are inadequate or a failure if they won’t be able to handle this on their own.
  • Other Barriers : these barriers are more practical like inability to pay for treatment due to financial hardship or lack of health insurance. Not having reliable transportation, child care issues and appointments for treatment that conflict with work or school schedules can also prevent someone from engaging in treatment.

When do you know that you need an outside help?

According to the research, in terms of brain chemistry, insufficient serotonin levels may be a cause of OCD and that brain circuits appear to return to normal after taking serotonin medication or receiving cognitive behavioral psychotherapy.

It really disturbs me when I see that most of the time OCD goes unrecognized. According to the Obsessive Compulsion Foundation, studies show that it takes an average of seventeen years from the onset of OCD until the obtaining of appropriate treatment. What do you think would be the reason? Well as far as my experience with my clients, most of the time sufferer keep it a secret, as they feel no body will understand and most importantly access to appropriate treatment is not always available. This is a pity as with proper treatment patient can avoid suffering and can lessen the risk of developing further problems. In some cases it has been witnessed that after treatment, patient was fully cured or in some cases they have gained symptomatic relief.

How can you help someone suffering from OCD?

Offer support and understanding

It is very important that you clearly communicate to them that you do understand the difference between behavioral symptoms of OCD and the person. When compulsions are visible you need to convey to them that you know it is not them it is their OCD. This will help to reduce the person’s feeling of guilt and low self worth and in return can also help in diminishing of their stress and anxiety. Once they open up and discuss it becomes easier for you to understand how it affects them and how you can be more supportive.

Do not Comply with OCD behavior

Some times you comply with their request and do what pleases them, as you find it much easier then dealing with the prolonged anxiety, fear, or arguments that may arise if you don’t do what is asked. But this can act as a hindrance in their recovery process if they are undergoing any sort of treatment. Yes, It is important to normalize family or household routines at the same time refuse to participate in reinforcing OCD behaviors. 

Reach out for support for yourself and for the sufferer

Living with someone with OCD is not easy. Make sure you not only confide in someone who understands you and guides you . It is important to maintain your connections and supports among your extended family and friends. If need arises do not hesitate to consider professional support. Contact a telephone helpline for families of people with OCD and anxiety condition.

Treatments available

  • Psychotherapy
  • Medication
  • Relaxation
  • Neuromodulation
  • Transcranial Magnetic simulation

(You can google and find out these treatments in detail or can consult your Doctor)

I strongly believe, self awareness and acceptance can solve most of the problems. There is a saying that goes “the first page of the book of life is a mirror”. By understanding ourselves we can start to understand the nature of all things. We humans have a habit of ignoring our subconscious mind. Something which troubles or disturbs us we conveniently avoid rather than own and confront them. Knowing your strengths and weakness, accepting that they exist and work on them as needed can help us overcome any obstacle in life.

This Post is part of Blogchatter’s #CauseAChatter Campaign.

This blog post if part of the blog challenge ‘Blogaberry Dazzle’ hosted by Cindy D’Silva and Noor Anand Chawla.

@Swati Mathur

How Does Natural Environment Impact Our Mental Health #CauseAChatter

“Nature itself is the best physician” – Hippocrates

Mother earth has a healing power, there is something about the quite calm of nature that is contagious, leaving quite calm in the mind. Don’t you feel the same?

Nature provide us with great benefits some are more visible like food, shelter, air, water and some are less visible benefits. Surrounded by nature or just watching a picture or a movie of nature reduces stress , anger , fear and gives a pleasant feeling. Research done in many hospitals, offices, and schools have found that even a simple plant in a room can have a major impact on stress and anxiety.  Exposure to the natural world would help humans live happier, healthier lives. But not everyone is blessed to reap these benefits. Urbanization , decline in human contact with nature and increased screen time, amongst other factors, means that we spend the majority of our time indoors. It has become even more crucial to create opportunities for nature experience. Nature has given us everything in abundance but we human have exploited for our own pleasure and that’s why today we all are facing the heat. A clean and healthy environment is essential for human to feel positive.

Approaches to ensure nature have positive impact on human mind

Ecotherapy : Or green care or nature based interventions. This is a therapeutic approach that includes participating in structured outdoor activities such as gardening, food growing, nature walk and farming conservation work. All these proved to be extremely beneficial for improving mental health of the people. Ecotherapy shows that the environment, without doubt, is part of the foundation of our wellbeing. Experiencing nature has allowed us to rediscover our ties to both people and places , it helps us meet our need for connection and identity, ultimately giving our lives an enhanced sense of meaning. We are not separate from nature, but are an integral part of it.

Forest Therapy : It is yet another approach that contributes to improved emotional and cognitive health. This experience can be through a forest activity program and by experiencing the social and physical conditions of the forest environment and the therapeutic elements of the forest. Visiting or viewing a forest scene has a positive effect on psychological healing and well-being in terms of recovering from stress, improving concentration and productivity, improving the psychological state, particularly for people from urban environments.

Protecting Green spaces: From both climate and biodiversity perspectives, the protection of existing green spaces should be prioritized and evidence suggests these spaces also provide the largest health benefits.

How human have taken nature for granted!

Climate change: Climate change leads to psychological distress and anxiety about the future as it is considered as a global environment threat. It is very disheartening to see earth warming up at a steady pace. The reason for this is the increase in human-caused green house, which has lead to health, ecological and humanitarian crises.

Chemical Substances : As we know humans are exposed to wide range of chemical substances can results in mental health issues such as depression, anxiety and other psychiatric and neurological conditions. For this no one else to be blamed but us.

Noise pollution : Noise pollution affects mental health problems like annoyance, poor sleep, cognitive impairment etc. Noise is particularly relevant for children, as they are particularly vulnerable, including in settings such as schools. We human need to be more sensitive towards mother nature. It is like digging our own graveyard.

All the reasons mentioned above are man made and therefore it is our responsibility to preserve nature in all its aspects. E.O Wilson has rightly said “If all mankind has to disappear, the world would regenerate back to the rich state of equilibrium that existed then thousand years ago. If insect were to vanish, the environment would collapse into chaos”.

Men are considered as the most selfish creatures , but if it is about our own mental health effecting due to this mess , than it is our responsibility not to cause irreversible damage to our nature and regain back its beauty.

This Post is part of Blogchatter’s #CauseAChatter Campaign.

Mental Trap That Mess Up Our Lives #CauseAChatter

Pic Courtesy : Pexel

Mental trap are perpetual modes of thinking that becomes our habit. This metal trap disturbs our ease , take up vast amount of our time and exhaust our energy without accomplishing anything of value for us or for anyone else.

When we know mental trap can be very harmful than why do we fall into them? Why don’t we simply quit? Well , the reason could be many but according to my understanding very often we are unaware of what we are thinking. Even if we know our thoughts, we often fail to recognize that it can be injurious to us. Even when we do recognize their injurious nature, we often can’t quit, because we have become habitual.

Most of the time we humans remain unaware of this mental trap and fall into them automatically without making a conscious decision. The first qualification for getting rid of this mental trap is to learn the art of detection. But learning to detect and recognizing aren’t enough to put an end to them. We also need to be assure that they are useless and injurious. But the irony of life is that most of the time mental traps are often mistaken for absolutely indispensable activities without which life would become chaotic and threatening. Having learned to identify the traps and having been convinces that its is in our advantage to get rid of it and if still we continue, it is nothing but a case of ” Bad Habit”. Lets take the example of smoker, every smoker is aware that smoking is injurious and it is something very difficult to get rid off, still continuous to smoke as it has become a ” Bad Habit” which if they really try can get rid off, but how many actually does?

The mental traps which we are going to discuss today might not feel like traps but when we study them in detail we realize it is difficult to come out of them as many people do not consider them as traps.

The first trap, Persistence, is to work on a task which has actually lost its value. Some times you start reading a book because someone gave a great review about it but the second motive is , the need to complete what was began. Were great review the only motive to read, we would quit immediately if you find it boring , but the second motive to finish what was began, just because it begun , makes us persist.

The second trap, Inflation, is the trap of working harder than necessary to achieve our aim. Doing too little can be an error but too much is also a mistake. There is a certain amount of work appropriate to each of life tasks. If we do too little, we fall short of the goal. And if we do too much, we dissipate our resources. For example making more money than we can spend is a trap if our aim is to be able to buy what we want. But the same activity may be fully in accord with our values if we engage in it for the pleasure of playing the money game.

The third trap, Prediction, is the trap of starting too soon. It is true that if we start too late, we may not have enough time to finish. But their are also penalties for starting too soon. When we predict, we render ourselves to overworking, preworking and working in a vain. We overwork if we act now when the same result can more easily be achieved at a later time. For example, expecting a letter of acceptance or rejection , we compose two replies, one for each possibilities. Has we waited until the letter was received , we would have needed to do only half as much work, and the result would have been the same. Hence we overworked.

The fourth trap, Resistance, we continue with what we are already doing when it would be better to quit. In this trap we ought to quit because something more important or more pressing has come up. For example we resist if we continue to play when there is a fire in the kitchen. It will be foolish if we resist under two conditions, one is emergency and second one is opportunity. We should drop the task at hand when we are faced with an emergency as we may suffer a penalty for the delay. For example, it would be unwise to occupy ourselves with boiling coffee when we are struggling with a masked gunman in the living room. Second we should drop the task at hand when opportunity comes knocking. For example missing an official dinner which can help in networking for finishing a task which can be done tomorrow or next week .

The fifth trap, Procrastination, delay or giving excuses for not doing something by indulging in something which gives temporary pleasure. Some procrastination lasts for only a moment but some last for days, months and years together. Conditions never seems right for the initiation for any task. For example we want to write a letter , we already decided that we will write it and still we hold back.

The sixth trap, Double mind, when we try to attend to two things at once. We participate in a conversation while at the same time trying to solve a financial problems that’s been praying on our mind. Sitting and reading a book when we are attacked by hordes of extraneous ideas relating to other tasks like, bills to be paid, kids to be feed and so on. This is a state or chronic division, always trying to hold all our unresolved problems in consciousness simultaneously instead of setting the burden down and picking up one item at a time. Remember that the technique of saving the best for the last is ineffective in case of chronic division. The attempt to get everything settled before enjoying the best of life results in the perpetual postponement of pleasure.

Pic Courtesy : Pexels

So how to get rid of these mental trap? Well there is no sure shot technique but by following this process you can help yourself not to get too involved in these traps.

  • Be conscious while detecting and recognizing these traps.
  • Convince yourself that these traps can be harmful and do not let them become your habit.
  • Identify accountable partner someone you can trust completely. It could be your guru, your mother or someone you think credible. The external authority should be assertive, someone who is strict and sensible at the same time and aid you to take right decision at right time.
  • Always try to be in focused thinking mode, because once your thinking goes into diffuse mode you will have no control over your mind and sub conscious mind have no limits when it comes to imagining things.
  • Meditation can help you to be more focused and will give you a sense of calm ,peace and balance that can benefit your mental well-being.
  • The last step in this process is ” The practice of thought watching”- The only equipment needed for this is a spot reasonably free from external distractions. Sit quietly and watch your thoughts. That’s all. Here we do not try to think about anything in particular, but neither do we try to block or interfere with the thoughts that happen to arise. We just watch , as though at a movie. While doing this we learn a very important lesson about the mind: thoughts arise by themselves, even if we don’t strive to will them into existence. We can observe in the full light of consciousness how thoughts come and go without the benefit of our assistance.

Once you understand and become more aware about your thought process it becomes easier for you to keep a track on your thinking and your emotions. Mental trap can hold you back for sometimes but cannot hold you forever if you find the key of conscious mind.

This Post is part of Blogchatter’s #Cause a chatter.

Swati Mathur

#BlogchatterA2Z : “Z” – Zenith Of Fashion Curve (A2Z of Image Management)

Hi Everyone,

What an amazing journey from A 2 Z . Writing for #BlogchatterA2Z challenge has been amazing. In the process I have realized ,I have so much to share which I will continue as I believe sharing is caring. Kumari aka Lyrikal has rightly said “Knowledge increases by sharing and not by saving”.

Today is my 26th post , the last letter in an Alphabet ,but this post talks about Zenith in Fashion Curve…Truly wonderful. The zenith is the “highest” point on the celestial sphere and we are going to talk about highest point in fashion curve. At some time, most clothing styles pass through a fashion curve, cycle, or wave. You can observe the predictable stages a clothing style goes through during its time as a fashion trend. These stages illustrate the relative position of classics and fads, from start to finish. The average length of a fashion cycle is getting shorter due to mass media and fast fashion, lasting only three to seven years.

Before moving to fashion curve lets first understand what is classic and Fads clothing.

Classic Clothing :

Classics are never on the cutting edge of fashion, never extreme, never glitzy, tight, or revealing. Their styling changes very slowly and only slightly. Classics may be updated slightly in terms of current trends—say, toward slightly wider or narrower lapels or pant legs. Updated classics can become more fashionable at one time or another. Classics, then, are needed most by people who want their clothes to last as long as possible, and by people in leadership positions or politics. In these latter situations, classic clothes allow the wearer to relate more readily with a larger segment of an audience or voting population—
people relate quickly and have more confidence in the long-term ability of the wearer. Present in any wardrobe as staple, core pieces, classics provide long-term, lasting value. Classic colors, fabrics, and patterns will be discussed.

Fads Clothing

Fads are short-lived, impractical, novelty, or high-fashion items, outdated within a few months because of more extreme lines and shapes. Fads feature design lines and shapes that are relatively extreme in some direction or size—very wide or very narrow, very long or very short, very fitted or very tight, and so forth, including extreme colors, textures, and
patterns. The more extreme the design, the more quickly it will come and go in terms of acceptability, popularity, or fashionability.

The fashion cycle is a natural cycle by which a fashion trend is introduced, rises to mainstream popularity, declines, and finally gets rejected.

Introduction Stage (Start): The introduction stage is when the high fashion designer introduces new style in the fashion world. Often these styles are extremes, original and exclusive. The style is usually only available in small quantities from a handful of different designers or retailers, often at a high price and gets complete trade coverage.

Rise Stage : The rise stage (also known as the “fashion acceptance” stage) is when the new fashion style begins gaining momentum and traction in the fashion industry, officially receiving the coveted “trend” label. During the rise stage, more fashion leaders and trendsetters wear outfits that incorporate the idea, from social media influencers to celebrities, increasing consumer demand. In response to this acceptance by fashion influencers, more retail stores will begin carrying the trend. Manufacturers modify the style, they are still expensive with high quality. People who are fashion conscious adopt this style and gets consumer magazine coverage.

Peak Stage (Zenith Of Fashion Curve) : In the peak stage, the trend has reached full saturation in the general public , and many everyday consumers begin wearing the trend. Most retailers will have identified and replicated the trend, and it will be available through mass production at a wide variety of price levels, especially at lower prices. At this stage local newspapers starts covering them and most fashion leader drops the style. This is the time when style gains the maximum popularity.

Decline Stage: In the decline stage, the trend will have become oversaturated in the market. During this period of time, the trend’s intense popularity will begin to turn off consumers who want their outfits to feel fashion-forward and unique rather than mainstream. Classic reached plateau where in style remained appealing, available, appropriate, affordable and in demand.

Rejection Stage : Once the trend has reached the end of the fashion cycle, it is considered outdated and out-of-fashion by mainstream fashion wearers, who have moved on to newer trends in the introduction or increase stages. Manufacturer cannot afford to produce it that leads to low sales and closeout sales. The fall occurs quickly. Reaching obsolescence doesn’t mean a rejected trend will never reenter the cycle. The cycle is in a constant state of repetition, bringing back “old fashions” to send them through the movement of fashion.

The fashion cycle serves as the most important guide for fashion merchandising.

https://www.theblogchatter.com/blogrolls/blogchattera2z-z-zenith-of-fashion-curve-a2z-of-image-managementThis post is part of#BlogchatterA2Z challenge.

To read my previous posts checkout here A ,B ,C ,D ,EFGIJ, K,L,M,N,OPQRST , U , VWX, Y

@ Swati Mathur

#BlogchatterA2Z : “Y” – Yin and Yang in Clothing (A2Z of Image Management)

Hi Everyone,

Just one more post to go..yipeee!! This is my 25th Post for #BlogchatterA2Z challenge. Lets talk about Yin and Yang in clothing which is very interesting and fascinating too. The ancient Chinese concept of opposing characteristics or traits in nature is described with the terms yang and yin. The concept relates directly to dominance and subordinance, advancing and receding. Yang represents dominant, advancing, assertive traits. Yin represents subordinate, receding, receptive traits. More specifically, to the Chinese, yin means gentleness and softness—the grace of the willow tree, and the delicacy of the moon. Yang means strength and vigor— the sturdiness of the pine tree, and the force of the sun.

Importance and Functions of Yin/Yang Concept and Personal Style—Benefits
Describes opposites and classifies physical, psychological, and
clothing traits.
• Allows comparison based on similarity and differences in traits.
• Assists in discovering, developing, and refining personal style in
dress.
• Advances knowledge, awareness, understanding, acceptance, and
appreciation of the self and others.
• Becomes a tool for solving image-related problems and in creating
the type of appearance necessary to achieve goals.
• Guides the use of clothing as a means of visual communication.
• Guides the creation of powerful illusions about the individual.
• Provides a tool for adding variety and interest to your appearance.

Yin and Yang In Clothing

Yang and tailored can be positioned on one end of a continuum, while yin and untailored can be positioned at the opposite end. There are many degrees of difference on the continuum between tailored and untailored, between yin and yang.

It is somewhere in between opposites, on a huge middle ground, that you will find what design details or traits work best for you. It will be up to you to decide which design traits more nearly reflect your general needs and preferences, or where they appear to be on that
continuum between opposing traits. You will learn to borrow and blend or mix selected traits from one side or the other, depending on your mood or purpose. This is a matter of delicate balance and therein lies the art of successful dressing and personal style.

There are numerous ways you might need to plot yourself. You might plot your body and personality consistently yin, or consistently yang. That makes for easy dressing when you decide to keep clothing traits consistent. Visual and psychological conflict can result when you don’t. You might, however, plot your body as yin and your personality traits more yang. Or, you might plot your body as yang and your personality traits more yin. This requires a compromise in clothing traits to present both the body and personality harmoniously.

The concept of yin and yang in clothing can be understood better if we identify physical, personality and clothing traits of both yin and yang.

Pic Courtesy : Inside out Style

Yin

Physical Traits (Receding)
• Short
• Small-boned
• Delicate, rounded features
• Delicate, lighter coloring
• Fine-textured skin
• Softly curled or tousled hair
• Light movement
• Graceful walk
• Youthful
Personality Traits (Receptive)
• Gentle
• Dependent
• Impulsive
• Idealistic
• Pliant
• Yielding
• Subtle
• Shy
• Friendly
• Informal
• Warm
• Naive
• Open
• Fragile

Clothing Traits (Receding/Receptive/Untailored)
• Curved lines
• Broken lines
• Curved shapes and silhouette
• Small scale shapes and patterns
• Soft, light colors*
• Pliable fabric
• Lightweight
• Fine, smooth textures
• Less or weak, subtle contrasts
• Untailored

Pic courtesy : inside out style

Yang

Physical Traits (Advancing)
• Tall
• Large-boned
• Large, angular features
• Strong, darker coloring
• Slightly coarse skin
• Sleek, tailored, controlled hair
• Vigorous movement
• Purposeful walk
• Mature
Personality Traits (Assertive)
• Forceful
• Independent
• Deliberate
• Realistic
• Firm
• Decisive
• Direct
• Daring
• Reserved
• Formal
• Cool
• Sophisticated
• Closed
• Stable
Clothing Traits (Advancing/Assertive)
• Straight lines
• Solid, unbroken lines
• Angular shapes and silhouette
• Large scale shapes and patterns
• Bold, dark colors*
• Firm fabric
• Heavyweight
• Coarse, rough textures
• More or strong

Yin and Yang descriptive traits on Continuum :

Yin
Delicate: The delicate girl is shorter and small-boned. Hair color is generally light. She chooses more untailored clothing styles in soft fabrics and lighter, pastel colors, with smaller scale or dainty design details. She appears approachable, gentle, innocent,
youthful, and polite.
Sporty: The sporty girl is shorter and smaller-boned. Hair color is generally light to medium, including rusty-red. She chooses more untailored to casual tailored clothing styles in softer fabrics and medium to brighter colors. She appears approachable, perky, youthful, energetic, and casual.
Romantic: The romantic woman is average in height and curvaceous. Hair color may be light, medium, or dark. She chooses more softly tailored clothing styles in softer fabrics and
rich, muted colors. She appears more approachable, sensitive, charming, sensuous, and gracious.
Yang
Classic: The classic woman is average in height and proportion. Hair color is generally medium light to medium dark. She chooses more tailored clothing styles in firmer fabrics and neutral colors. She appears more authoritative, confident, mature, poised, and more formal.
Sportive: The sportive gal is taller and larger-boned. Hair color is generally medium to dark. She chooses more casual tailored and softly tailored clothing styles in textured fabrics
and earthy colors. She appears authoritative, strong, confident, determined, and less formal.
Dramatic: The dramatic woman is generally taller and more angular. Hair color is often very light or very dark. She chooses extremely tailored to bold untailored clothing styles with strong dark-light contrast. She appears assertive, sophisticated, theatrical, temperamental, and formal.

When you determine your positions on the continuum, you can better see yourself in relation to your clothes. Personal style in dress implies limits on the yin/yang continuum—the limits in dress design to which you are willing to go and still look and feel authentic, congruent, or comfortable with yourself in your clothes. It’s a matter of deciding if you are comfortable wearing clothing characteristics that are very yin, slightly yin, slightly yang, or very yang. In selecting clothing, it is a matter of saying to yourself, “That’s too yin (or yang) for me—for my height, for the way I move, for my personality or my mood, or for the occasion, etc.” You can substitute “too tailored” or “too untailored” and make the same point.

This post is part of #BlogchatterA2Z challenge.

To read my previous posts checkout here A ,B ,C ,D ,EFGIJ, K,L,M,N,OPQRST , U , VW, X

@ Swati Mathur

#BlogchatterA2Z : “X” – X-factor of Smart Shopping Skills (A2Z of Image Management)

Hi Everyone,

Here I am with my 24th post for #BlogchatterA2Z challenge. Having a Smart Shopping skill may turn out to be an X-Factor in Wardrobing. So here I am talking about What is a Smart Shopping Skills and steps to follow in order to become a smart shopper.

Open your closet doors for a long look. Don’t be discouraged if the contents look skimpy. You’ve pared your wardrobe down to the bones—to what really works for you. What you need now is an accurate mental image of what’s in your closet. This mental image will give you direction for planning, shopping, and purchasing wisely—for adding new pieces that will continue to work together for you to your advantage. Think of it this way. When you buy a piece of furniture, you envision your whole house, then the room and how that piece of furniture will look and work in that room. It should be the same with your wardrobe. Just as a piece of furniture becomes part of the interior design, part of the artistic composition; a piece of clothing becomes part of your exterior design and a part of your personal artistic composition.

You’ll know which stores cater to your clothing needs and personal style. Smart shopping skills keep you on target. Smart shopping skills simplify the shopping process. You’re less likely to be frustrated and exhausted. Smart shopping skills save you time and money. Te skill allow you to avoid the accumulation of “wardrobe orphans,” clothes that hand in your closet unloved and unworn.

When you have an accurate mental image of your wardrobe and shop with that wardrobe accurately in mind, when you see an item that catches your eye, you will know immediately if you need it, will really use it, and if it will fit into and contribute to your existing wardrobe. This puts you in charge. With an increased awareness and understanding of yourself and your wardrobe needs, you can feel secure in the knowledge that the clothing in your closet will present you attractively and appropriately wherever you go and whatever you do. As you implement your wardrobe plans, learn what stores and catalogs cater to your needs, preferences, and ability to buy.

Practice shopping strategies that prepare you to make wise purchases.

The first guideline for smart shopping is to buy only what you need. Make a list of items you need to complete your cluster or add on to your expanded wardrobe. Be specific about the item, its style, color, fabric, what you expect it to go with, and the estimated cost. Keep your list in your closet area, perhaps tacked to the inside of your closet door—or in your purse or planner. Prioritize your list according to each item’s importance.

Shopping can be distracting due to people, displays, and merchandise all around you. Your shopping list will:
• Keep you on target.
• Help you pass up tempting displays.
• Keep you from getting sidetracked into departments you don’t need.
• Prevent you from impulse buys that whittle away your budget and keep you from being able to buy the item you really need.

Plan Ahead
Whether shopping at regular prices, discounts, or sale prices, plan ahead. Armed with your cluster plansheet and shopping list you are ready to preplan your shopping trip. It’s easy to get tired when shopping, but having a cluster plan in mind makes all the difference in any shopping excursion. You don’t spend the entire day running around from store to store accomplishing nothing. Knowing the stores available in your area, and the ones that suit you best, you can zero in on the ones you think are the most likely to have what you want.
Further prioritize your list according to the stores and departments in stores, so you get to the most important, difficult-to-find, or fast-selling items first and save on retraced steps and zigzagging back and forth across town.

Do Your Homework
There is an incredible selection of clothing and accessories to choose from. It can be very confusing. To get a preview of what’s in the stores, shop through a few fashion magazines and catalogs , also on online shopping portals.

Shopping Alone or with a Friend
Take a very good friend or family member shopping with you only when you want a second opinion or need someone to stifle your impulse to buy. Even then, make sure that it is a person whose opinion you respect, someone who understands you, someone who will be objective and brutally honest with you, and someone who will not be a distraction. It may help if that person’s personal style is similar to yours. Shop alone on longer shopping trips. Your time will be spent more efficiently. Include children only on short trips for gifts or personal items of their own to avoid overexposure to the vastly tempting array of merchandise.

Knowing more about the many types of stores and clothing sources available to you will help you in finding your clothing needs.

Go to the stores where you generally shop and visit others in the area where you live. Do some comparison shopping. Compare the clothing styles and values. Ideally, choose one item carried by many clothing stores. Visit several stores, locating the item in as many as
possible, noting its price and quality. Compare the same item in the same brand wherever possible. Compare the same item in different brands. Determine which stores carry the most variety, in the best quality, at the best or widest price range. There are scores of different types of stores to visit. Some are recognizably different. Others are
becoming increasingly difficult to differentiate between, as distinctions
have become blurred in recent years. Through this process of comparison shopping, you will discover which stores suit your personal style and provide the type of clothing you want at the price you are willing and able to pay. With each store you scout, consider the following points:
• The type and variety of merchandise carried in the store.
• The amount of money you have available to spend on clothing.
• The convenience of shopping at that store location.
• The type of sales associates the store employs.
• The types of services the store provides.
• The business practices of the store or retailer.
Be a comparison shopper, but don’t over-compare at the expense of gas, time, and energy. Shop for the brands you have been pleased with in the past, but be open to new options. Finding the best bargain for your clothing dollar is a game of sorts, and you come out the winner. This is going to be a one time process, if done , you can relax every time you go for shopping.

Be a smart Shopper by following all these tips as end of the day you want your wardrobe to look attractive, affordable, appropriate and authentic.

This post is part of#BlogchatterA2Z challenge.

To read my previous posts checkout here A ,B ,C ,D ,EFGIJ, K,L,M,N,OPQRST , U , V, W

@ Swati Mathur